Pizza boxes are made of cardboard so they should be recyclable, right? Well, yes and no. Although
most, if not all, recycling centers accept corrugated cardboard, it's actually the grease residue on the box that makes part, if not all of it, a trash item.
Generally the top of the pizza box remains clean and free of grease or food. If this is the case, the top of the box can be torn off and placed into any recycling container. The bottom of the box where the pizza sits usually ends up with a fair amount of grease that has soaked into the cardboard. It is this that makes the bottom of the box non-recyclable.
Once cardboard has been sorted out of the recycling stream, the materials are soaked in a
mixture of water and chemicals designed to break down the paper fibers
and create a pulp. According to Being Earthly, once the fibers are
thoroughly broken down, they are combined with new pulp, usually from
wood chips. This combination strengthens the weakened fibers and
eventually helps them to solidify.
During this process, if there is any excess oil or grease, the mixture will be compromised since these substances don't mix well with water. Food residue can be a problem as well. Foreign materials or substances can actually contaminate whole loads of cardboard.
For these reasons, only clean cardboard free of grease or food can be recycled...all other cardboard is considered a trash item.
For more information on recyclable items visit our website at www.wasteawaygroup.com